Why Has Competition Slowed?

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http://gunsmagazine.com/classic-guns-magazine-editions/
Review these old gun magazines and you’ll see the importance of competition back in the 1950 and 1960s.

http://www.gunsmagazine.com/1956issues/G1256.pdf
page 5-6, lists various match results

http://www.gunsmagazine.com/1958issues/G0258.pdf
page 5, Bill Toney, Askins, Hebard competition shooters writing articles with content about competitions
“My Favorite Gun” section features a conventional pistol competitor.

http://www.gunsmagazine.com/1956issues/G0756.pdf
page 14, “Why Doesn’t Shooting Go Professional?”
That issue began with an interview with pistol champ Harry Reeves.

http://www.gunsmagazine.com/1960issues/G0260.pdf
Four competition articles. The magazine has a specific “Competition” section because it regularly published enough material on this in every issue to warrant a dedicated section.

Consider the state of the NRA membership and its Competition Division back in 1961.

Back then, with a membership of 418,000 total, the NRA boasted 120,367 classified competitors and the Marksmanship Qualification Program had 374,112 participants. That is, roughly 29% of the membership was classified in formal competition and 90% participated in the MQP. Page 49 of that same issue details a drive for 500,000 members by using the Marksmanship Qualification Program and a push to get every NRA member involved.

Today, with over 4 million members, a tenfold increase, less than 100,000 members are classified shooters (about 2%) and the Marksmanship Qualification Program isn’t even tracked despite advances in information processing and computers.

Some time ago, I was considered for a writing job sponsored by a nationally-recognized firearm/outdoor distributor and edited by a nationally-recognized publisher with a readership of around a quarter million subscribers. The Editor-In-Chief, who knew me from my various writing and editing work as well as my competitive shooting background, told me plainly they would not entertain any formal marksmanship instruction material and specifically shunned competition-specific coverage. This wasn’t due to a bias from the company, publisher, or editor, rather, it was due to them tracking reader feedback. Detailed marksmanship training beyond introductory fluff tracked the lowest interest and anything competition specific was notably poor. The subscribers simply weren’t interested. They were rather interested in gear reviews, product releases, and gun politics. So the general gun owning public is vitally interested in being told what toys to buy and maintaining their right to continue doing so but has little interest in how to actually use the stuff beyond a novice level.

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Fixing the Army’s Broken Culture

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Military elements often retain a degree of tradition, sometimes to their detriment and well past any meaningful use. Examples include the foolish and ineffective approach that initial entry training (“basic”) continues to be conducted and long-obsolete and useless holdovers such as drill and ceremony. I’ll begrudge an exception to D&C for personnel formally directed to conduct a tattoo while also pointing out the general fraud, waste, and abuse of such pompous displays.

Things like this are continued under the false guise of instilling discipline and learning how to pay attention to detail despite no evidence that they accomplish either:

http://changingminds.org/disciplines/leadership/styles/lewin_style.htm
http://www.kurt-lewin.com/leadership-styles.shtml

Kurt Lewin’s research on leadership and group dynamics indicates an over-bearing authoritative approach typified by the drill sergeant stereotype may be the worst way to lead people in many situations, especially if you want them to be capable of thinking and leading on their own one day. Test groups can revert to even worse undisciplined behavior than those put into laissez-faire control groups when the authority figure is removed. If you enforce babysitting measures upon personnel as the only means of enforcing discipline, then you’ll have to always and forever ensure a babysitter is present.

Forward-thinking leaders have commented on the need to break obsolete and detrimental traditions, even directing that future leaders must be able to function under disciplined disobedience.

Here are some examples:

https://soflete.com/blogs/knowledge/surfers-hippies-hipsters-and-snowflakes-counterculture-in-sof

https://warontherocks.com/2016/09/six-ways-to-fix-the-armys-culture/

https://www.army.mil/article/187293/future_warfare_requires_disciplined_disobedience_army_chief_says

https://warontherocks.com/2017/05/three-things-the-army-chief-of-staff-wants-you-to-know/

https://medium.com/s/story/10-dumb-rules-that-make-your-best-people-want-to-quit-8491b446dde5/

Future warfare requires ‘disciplined disobedience,’ Army chief says

“I think we’re over-centralized, overly bureaucratic, and overly risk-averse,” Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Mark A. Milley said while speaking at the Army and Navy Club in Washington, D.C., as part of the Atlantic Council Commanders Series.

Leaders on the battlefield could expect to be out of contact with their own leadership for significant periods of time. Those officers would still need to accomplish their commander’s objectives, even when the conditions on the battlefield change and they are unable to send word up the chain of command.

“We are going to have to empower [and] decentralize leadership to make decisions and achieve battlefield effects in a widely dispersed environment where subordinate leaders, junior leaders … may not be able to communicate to their higher headquarters, even if they wanted to,” Milley said.

In that environment, Milley said, the Army will need a cadre of trusted leaders on the battlefield who know when it’s time to disobey the original orders they were given and come up with a new plan to achieve the purpose of those orders.

“[A] subordinate needs to understand that they have the freedom and they are empowered to disobey a specific order, a specified task, in order to accomplish the purpose. It takes a lot of judgment.”

Such disobedience cannot be “willy-nilly.” Rather, it must be “disciplined disobedience to achieve a higher purpose,” Milley said. “If you do that, then you are the guy to get the pat on the back.”

Milley said that when orders are given, the purpose of those orders must also be provided so that officers know both what they are to accomplish and how they are expected to accomplish it.

More:
https://www.army.mil/article/187293/future_warfare_requires_disciplined_disobedience_army_chief_says

None of this is new. This formal 1978 study Military Self-Discipline: A Motivational Analysis reveals the same things
http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a055017.pdf

Worst of all, despite having formal, studied, decades-old evidence that a self-discipline approach selects for and produces better outcomes than an overbearing, authoritative approach, there is NO formal evidence that the current model provides any benefit.

The topic of leadership has been extensively studied in a range of occupational settings. Findings indicate that employee ratings of leaders predict occupational outcomes such as job turnover, satisfaction, and performance in both military and civilian occupational settings.

Approximately 72,000 soldiers go through Army BCT in the United States each year (http://www.jackson.army.mil/sites/info/) … [A]lthough there are several possible leadership qualities that could be displayed by Drill Sergeants, from being harsh and demanding to mentoring and motivating, there have been NO studies that have systematically assessed Drill Sergeant characteristics. [emphasis added]

Trainee Perceptions of Drill Sergeant Qualities During Basic Combat Training was published in 2013. The Department of Army spends money to send 72,000 new recruits through initial entry “basic” training every year and has done so for many decades but has never bothered to study if the established approach is effective.

Despite the hallucinations of personnel imagining that the stereotypical drill sergeant approach is “necessary” or even useful, there is no evidence for it.

What has the Army response to this been? As expected of the illiterate majority, more of the same failed nonsense.

https://www.military.com/daily-news/2018/04/24/army-making-more-drill-sergeants-increase-discipline-ait.html

https://www.armytimes.com/news/your-army/2017/11/28/its-official-the-army-is-bringing-drill-sergeants-back-to-ait/

Army Combat Fitness/Readiness Test complaints

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Here is all you need to understand about the Army’s new ACFT: Motivated and intelligent personnel that know how to train effectively will continue to get very good scores, just as before. Malingerers will complain and do poorly or fail, just as before.

Consider what the test is asking personnel to do. Here are the proposed standards as of July 31 2018: July 2018 proposed standards

The ACFT Field Testing Manual explains the standards.
https://www.military.com/sites/default/files/2018-09/Field%20testing%20manual.pdf

This article demonstrates the events:
https://www.military.com/daily-news/2018/10/30/videos-heres-how-complete-new-army-fitness-test.html
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Lies of Gurus

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What happens when a skilled competitor used to achieving measurable results in organized competition is held up against widely-accepted tactical gurus that aren’t normally tested?


Kiai Master (black karategi with red belt) offers a 5,000 dollar challenge that he can beat any MMA competitor.


MMA competitor Xu Xiaodong (black shirt and shorts) demonstrates his competition approach a "thunder style" martial arts master.

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/05/10/world/asia/mma-martial-arts-china-tai-chi.html?referer=android-app://m.facebook.com

Interesting, Xu Xiaodong (the MMA competitor in the second video decisively winning this challenge against the “thunder style” martial arts master) has been lambasted for his victory because it “violates the morals of martial arts.”

Based on observing and participating in the range activity of tens of thousands of military personnel and comparing that to the range activity (training and competition) of competition shooters over the decades, there are direct parallels.

What the gamer does is not real, even though he actually does it.
What the tactician does is real, even though he likely has never done it.

And should the gamer beat the tactician (who allegedly operates where there are no rules) it’s an “outrage” for “violating morals.”

Wake Up Call

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This won’t make me any friends, but I’ll say it anyway. I’ll defer to George Patton’s wisdom and have at it. More

Tactical Training Is Silly

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How often in a real fight are any of the popularly-espoused, school-taught tactics employed? Review various fights caught on video and note how often the solution was (or ideally would have been) to present a firearm and land quick hits with the only additional necessary tactic being a little bob and weave.

Some examples:

From a vehicle:

At a store:

IPSC shooter working security:

https://firearmusernetwork.com/ipsc-shooter-wins-fight/

At another store:

https://gfycat.com/SillyEnormousIntermediateegret

http://www.speroforum.com/a/LRELBDEMBV42/79760-Video-armed-robbers-choose-wrong-gunshop-with-devastating-results

Police officer:

https://firearmusernetwork.com/new-russian-army-pistol/

In front of an elevator:
https://video-iad3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t42.1790-2/15278144_560280984162570_7771793311236358144_n.mp4?efg=eyJ2ZW5jb2RlX3RhZyI6InN2ZV9zZCJ9&oh=ca052e5e24918831f8f88b001535a94b&oe=583B2071

While not common, shootings do happen to good people sometimes. When they do, those people often have zero formal tactical instruction from popular classes.

The successful ones respond simply: Draw and land hits as quickly as possible, usually with little else needed. You’d be hard pressed to find a video of a successful defensive shooting where the defender used any of the techniques popularly taught at various schools.

Many of the most feared gunfighters of the 20th century used tactics and techniques that would be considered passé today. A surprisingly large number of them were involved in competition emphasizing static slow fire (Bullseye, PPC, etc.) that doesn’t test the timed movement, gun handling, and rapid-fire shooting on multiple targets found in practical competition. But they fought successfully many times. If they were still in service and in their prime, they’d probably fight quite well today as well.

Tactically Inconsistent

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Tiger McKee believes that practicing a malfunction/stoppage response must be done enough so that “getting the weapon running again, must be immediate.”

For example, when you press the trigger in real life – live fire practice and especially during a confrontation – and you get a click instead of a bang it means you have a malfunction. The response to this, clearing the stoppage and getting the weapon running again, must be immediate. In a fight time is a precious commodity. There is no time to stop, think or assess the problem and then correct it.

– Tiger McKee

In videos discussing his approach on “advanced skills”, Pincus states today’s guns are so reliable that skills required to clear malfunctions are among these and do not need to be emphasized or practiced regularly. He goes on to say that if one’s gun malfunctions, one should simply change the gun.

Malfunctions are not a fundamental defensive shooting skill…. Clearing a malfunction is an ‘advanced skill’.”

– Rob Pincus

Once again, two popular defensive shooting instructors (neither one with actual fight experience) have completely opposite approaches on a defensive shooting issue.

Where facts are few, experts are many.

– Donald R. Gannon

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